Coroner identifies man shot, killed in armed robbery in Florence Monday night

Coroner identifies man shot, killed in armed robbery in Florence Monday night
King Grocery on Gaillard street where Florence Police arrived.
King Grocery on Gaillard street where Florence Police arrived.

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – One person was killed in a shooting on Gaillard Street in Florence Monday night, Lt. Mike Brandt with the Florence Police Department confirmed.

Florence County Coroner Keith Von Lutcken identified the victim as Xavier Washington, 34, of Florence. The body will be autopsied at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston Thursday morning.

Officers responded to 501 Gaillard Street at King Grocery & Gameroom at 3:03 a.m. and aided an injured victim who later died after being taken to the hospital. Two men armed with a pistol and a rifle robbed several people gathered outside. One suspect was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a red cap. The other suspect was wearing a camouflage hooded sweatshirt and Khaki shorts. The two fled on foot.

One of Washington's friends came to the scene Tuesday and expressed his and his neighbors' grief.

"At the end of the day, everybody is hurting because he died. Everyone is hurt because it happened. It was a tragedy, yes it was. He will be missed; he was a great friend to everybody," said Tiffany Galbreath.

Galbreath expressed it shouldn't take a shooting to get police to patrol the area. She is concerned for her safety.

"I have three kids and my three kids know this area they walk, but at the same time, I can't even trust them to walk up and down the street and go to the park," she said. "You have to worry about, 'Oh no, this person has got a gun,' or if this person is carrying because of how they are looking at you."

Neighbors said they would like to see more of a community response and relationship with law enforcement to help prevent crime.

"Everybody needs to come together regardless of the facts, why are these young people robbing, stealing, breaking into people's houses, and now that one of our dear friends has actually gone to heaven because of a situation he was trying to stop."

Officials with the Florence Police Department said so far in 2017, there have been 17 incident reports and that when a tragedy happens, it stirs up fear in people even more.

Brandt responded to the lack of police presence below:

We make every effort to be observant and responsive to changes and needs in the community we serve. We accomplish this in large part through the relationships we have developed with our citizens and community watch organizations. We welcome citizens' concerns and appreciate the opportunity to work together to develop solutions to the concerns. The communication between our department and our community has, and will continue to be, been vital in bringing the truth to light and making Florence a safe and vibrant city.

Florence police encourages anyone with information or leads regarding this case to call (843) 665-3191.

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